Steep fare hike will kill Delhi Metro: Kejriwal

Delhi Metro lost 3 lakh commuters a day after the October fare hike

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has warned that the steep fare hike for Delhi Metro will "kill" the underground train services in the national capital. The average daily ridership figure of 24.2 lakh in October, however, is 3.2 lakh less than the average daily ridership in September - 27.4 lakh commuters. "If people stop using it, then what objective does it serve", Mr Kejriwal tweeted.

The committee has also recommended that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to revise the fares once in a year based on an automatic fare revision formula which takes into account increase in cost of staff, maintenance, energy and the Consumer Price Index or seven percent per annum. The metro now has a 218-km network across Delhi-NCR. The busiest metro route, the blue line, has suffered a ridership of 30 lakh whereas the yellow line has sufferer a setback of 19 lakh commuters.

A section of the media on Friday reported a decline of about 11 per cent in average daily ridership in October - the month of the second of the hikes done in two parts, the first having been implemented in May this year. On Friday, the chief minister tweeted that many passengers had switched to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads. The Ministry of Urban affairs has clarified that the metro's fare structure was determined by a statutory body and that neither the Centre nor the state government had any role. This came barely five months of another hike of up to 100 per cent. Both hikes together led to a doubling of the Metro fares.

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